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Writing a Summary of Nonfiction

Writing a Summary of Nonfiction

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Writing a Summary of Nonfiction

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  1. Writing a Summary of Nonfiction

  2. Essential Questions • What is a summary? • What makes a good summary? • How can I write a summary of nonfiction?

  3. What is a summary? • A summary is all of the ideas from a text, written in your own words • A summary is your opinions about a text • A summary is a shortened form of a text, with all of the main ideas • A summary is a review of a text, with main ideas and your opinions

  4. What is a summary? • A summary is all of the ideas from a text, written in your own words • A summary is your opinions about a text • A summary is a shortened form of a text, with all of the main ideas • A summary is a review of a text, with main ideas and your opinions

  5. Why do we write summaries? Readers can write a summary of a text to let someone else know the main ideas

  6. Why do we write summaries? Summarizing a text helps you to understand it—as you figure out the most important ideas, your brain is engaged in understanding the text

  7. Why do we write summaries? • Students often write summaries as a school assignment • Summaries are also included on tests, to see how well you understood a text

  8. How long should a summary be? It depends!

  9. How long should a summary be? • The length of a summary depends on the length of the original text • A summary should always be shorter than the original text

  10. What makes a good summary? Here are four basic rules for writing a summary of nonfiction: • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  11. What makes a good summary? Here are four basic rules for writing a summary of nonfiction: • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  12. Include important ideas from the text This is easy to say, but sometimes hard to do! As you read, it’s important to think about what ideas are most important to the author

  13. Include important ideas from the text Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  14. Which ideas are important in this text? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  15. Which ideas are important in this text? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk. Even though you might have some personal connection with some of the ideas, you need to think about what’s important to the author. Look for the topic sentences and big ideas.

  16. Which ideas are important in this text? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk. Even though you might have some personal connection with some of the ideas, you need to think about what’s important to the author. Look for the topic sentences and big ideas.

  17. Which ideas are important in this text? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk. Do you agree that these are the big ideas in the text?

  18. Finding important ideas • What strategies do you use to find important ideas in a text? • Why do you think this is important for summarizing?

  19. What makes a good summary? • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  20. Putting ideas in your own words • Putting ideas in your own words is also called paraphrasing • Instead of just copying down the author’s words, we need to use our own words

  21. Putting ideas in your own words Can you paraphrase this sentence from the text? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive

  22. Putting ideas in your own words Hint: Try using synonyms for important words Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive

  23. Putting ideas in your own words Hint: Try changing the order of ideas Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive

  24. Putting ideas in your own words Here’s one way to paraphrase the sentence. How does it compare to yours? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive Butterflies need specific plants to live

  25. Paraphrasing There are some words that you can’t change when you paraphrase. These key words are the important words from the passage. For example, in the passage that we read, the words butterfly and caterpillar cannot be replaced

  26. What makes a good summary? • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  27. Trivial Details Small details can be called “trivial details”—they might be interesting, but are not important to the main ideas of the passage We do not need to include these small details in summaries

  28. What small details do you notice? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  29. What small details do you notice? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk. While this example supports the main idea, it is not needed for a summary

  30. What other small details do you notice? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  31. What other small details do you notice? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. The description of the Xerxes Society is not needed in a summary. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  32. Repeated Ideas Authors also might repeat ideas. When the same idea is restated, we only need to include it once in a summary.

  33. What makes a good summary? • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  34. Using text structure The text structure of a text refers to how the text is organized • Description • Cause and Effect • Chronological Order • Problem/Solution • Compare and Contrast

  35. Using text structure When you look at the text structure of a text, you can find the big ideas and see how to organize your summary • Description • Cause and Effect • Chronological Order • Problem/Solution • Compare and Contrast

  36. What is the text structure? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  37. What is the text structure? Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. Overall, this paragraph shows the text structure of cause and effect. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  38. Text Structure in a Summary Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. In your summary, you need to show the cause and effect! If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  39. What makes a good summary? What do you remember about the four rules for writing a good summary? • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  40. What makes a good summary? What do you remember about the four rules for writing a good summary? • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  41. What makes a good summary? What do you remember about the four rules for writing a good summary? • Include the important ideas from the text • Put ideas in your own words • Leave out little details and repeated information • Use the text structure of the text

  42. Now, it’s your turn! Look back at the butterfly text. Can you write a summary?

  43. Write your own summary Many butterflies depend on certain plants to survive. As adults, butterflies drink nectar. But caterpillars eat leaves. Some caterpillars only eat the leaves of specific plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, eat only milkweed. If butterflies cannot find the food source they need for their eggs, the next generation will not survive. When habitats are changed, such as when wetlands are drained or forests are cleared, butterfly populations may drop dramatically. According to the Xerxes Society, an invertebrate conservation group, over 50 kinds of U.S. butterflies are at risk.

  44. by Emily Kissner See Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Retelling for more on summarizing